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WUNCPolitics Podcast
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The North Carolina General Assembly convened for a single day this week. But no budget deal was brokered, and now we'll be without one at least until springtime. 

Meanwhile, incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis has made an unusual request to debate his Democratic opponent in the 2020 general election. 

Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation discuss all that and what concerns they have about the voting machines being booted up for the primaries.  
 


North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers met for a one-day session this week, but in the end, not much has changed. There is still no budget for the current fiscal year as lawmakers enter their longest break in four years.

Billy Dee

What does it mean for a black journalist to remain neutral when writing about police brutality? Can young reporters be objective in their coverage of climate change?  Soon after the 2016 election, while working at American Public Media’s Marketplace, Lewis Raven Wallace wrote a blogpost saying: “We must change what we are doing to adapt to a government that believes in ‘alternative facts’ and thrives on lies.”

Carl Tanner's headshot
Courtesy of Carl Tanner

Growing up, Carl Tanner did his best to hide his vocal talent. He played keyboard in a rock band in high school but was reluctant to let out his booming voice. Eventually, a friend overheard him singing and pushed him to join the school choir. His natural ability stunned the instructor, and he started singing hymns at church, too.

Animated hands with words like 'calm, friendly, curious, inviting, attentive' frame an animated image of a toddler throwing a tantrum.
Pixabay

 

Parents in the United States typically have very little institutional support when it comes to raising children. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 guarantees workers 12 weeks of parental leave — but that leave is unpaid.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

A North Carolina police department is investigating the use of force by two officers during a traffic stop in which they were recorded kneeing a driver, punching his back and dragging him out of the car by his neck.

police lights
Peter Griffin / publicdomainpictures.net /public domain

Rescuers have found the body of a construction worker who was trapped after a trench collapsed Wednesday in the Triangle.

Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) is seen on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019.
Mike McCarn / AP Photo

  Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is retiring from the NFL after eight seasons.

a doctor
Hamza Butt / flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/VQGLoP

  North Carolina remains among the dozen or so states that haven't agreed to expand Medicaid to more of the working poor amid a lingering budget stalemate and continued skepticism among top Senate Republicans about the idea.

Lizzo sits naked with her long hair draping over her body.
Atlantic Records

The flute-wielding singer and rapper Lizzo is the artist of the moment. She secured the most 2020 Grammy nominations of any artist, including nods for best album, song and record.

McDougald Terrace
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Donations of clothes, diapers and food are pouring in for residents of McDougald Terrace in Durham. Hundreds of people remain displaced again this week after a carbon monoxide scare at the public housing apartments.

Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson demonstrates a new touch-screen voting unit.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Michael Dickerson’s voice rippled with the excitement of someone showing off a new sports car.

"This screen will now come up with every ballot, every precinct, every ballot style on it, and I can tap that screen and that gives that person that ballot," he said, his voice trailing off to a hush full of wonderment.

Rusty Jacobs, WUNC.

State lawmakers adjourned today without taking up a vote on overriding Governor Roy Cooper's budget veto. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Are wood pellets a renewable energy? In 2009, the European Union declared wood pellets a “carbon-neutral choice,” and in 2018 the EPA followed suit. Yet pellets are less efficient than fossil fuels. To make the same amount of energy, wood pellets release more carbon than both coal and natural gas.

Even before the Civil War, the North Carolina General Assembly was reckoning with prohibition. Women led the charge against drinking mostly through church organizations and behind-the-scenes political advocacy.

Refugee  children pose for a photo in front of a school bus.
Courtesy of the New Arrivals Institute

Southeast Asian refugees first arrived in Greensboro after the Vietnam War. Now, more than 40 years later, the city continues to welcome families fleeing violence.

Quilla with a microphone over a mixing board, mid-performance.
Courtesy of Anna Luisa Daigneault

Since landing in Greensboro, Quilla’s cosmic beat-making has encouraged other women DJs to step into the scene.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina General Assembly is back briefly in Raleigh in early 2020 with Republicans and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper facing the same impasse they had for most of 2019.

ThinkStock

Alamance Community College student Rosalyn Chambers knows what it feels like to have something stand in her way.

"The second day of school my car went kaput. It went out on me completely," Chambers said. "I'll never forget it."

wild horses along Outer Banks
Thomas Wheeler / AltAdjust.com

  A group that manages herds of wild horses in coastal North Carolina is warning drivers to watch out for the animals taking advantage of unseasonably warm weather by sleeping on the sand at night.

Rep. Deb Butler, a New Hanover County Democrat, yells at House Speaker Tim Moore.
Courtesy Rep. John Autry, D-Mecklenburg

The North Carolina General Assembly returns to Raleigh briefly on Tuesday with a short to-do list, topped by another Republican attempt to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the budget more than six months ago.

Carrie Knowles in front of a microphone
Courtesy of Carrie Knowles

Writing has been a central part of Carrie Knowles’ life since she was a young girl. She pursued creative writing as her major in college, even though it went against her father’s wishes.

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer talked with a potential voter before going on stage at North Carolina Central University's law school on January 12, 2020.
Josie Taris / WUNC

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer is preparing for this week’s debate after a weekend of campaigning in North Carolina.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

The state superintendent made a $928,000 emergency purchase that stoked the fight with the state board of education over what tool schools should be using to evaluate reading skills. 

A Democratic state senator who Republicans found both annoying and essential officially stepped down to join the state Utilities Commission.   

And presidential candidates Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are spending millions on ads in North Carolina as Super Tuesday looms. 

Mitch Kokai of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch —  our political observers on the right and the left — assess the week's news. 


Photo: A Massachusetts voting station sign
Katri Niemi / Flickr

North Carolina Republican lawmakers made a last-minute plea on Friday to a federal judge as they seek to save a photo identification requirement to vote that had been set to begin with the March primary.

Princeville, Flooding, Race, Hurricane Matthew
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The U.S . Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to spend $39.6 million to help preserve an eastern North Carolina town founded by freed slaves that's been damaged repeatedly by floodwaters from hurricanes.

Protesters hold signs that read 'NO IRAN WAR.'
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The U.S. House of Representatives approves a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump’s power and require authorization from Congress before taking any additional military action against Iran. While Trump tries to calm the nation’s fears, the FBI and national security leaders believe Iran and its proxies still pose a threat.

Charlotte Jarvis

Semen is a potent substance, both literally and symbolically. It was described by Chinese proverb as “equal to ten drops of blood”; by Sumerians as “a divine substance,” given to humanity by the god of water; and by Aristotle as “the most perfect component of our food.”

Courtesy of the Verona Quartet

Attending a night at the symphony may conjure up images of an elaborate theatre, expensive tickets and an audience dressed in their finest. Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle is working to change that perception with upcoming performances featuring the Verona Quartet, COT’s inaugural string quartet-in-residence.

Leigh Bordley, LEAP's executive director, admires an airplane a preschool student built out of toys.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

North Carolina will receive up to $56 million toward improving early childhood education and health outcomes for at-risk children, Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Thursday.

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